Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Schools Matter: "Clinically-Based Teacher Preparation"

Schools Matter: "Clinically-Based Teacher Preparation"

"Clinically-Based Teacher Preparation"

If there is a phrase that you are likely to get as sick of hearing in the next few years as you did "scientifically-based evidence" during the last few, it is likely to be "clinically based teacher preparation." No doubt, too, this new catch phrase will have about as much connection to science as the last one did, which is minimal to none.

"Clinically-based teacher preparation" represents a new scheme to further weaken the impetus toward child advocacy and ethical student treatment, the social justice mission of schools, and the progressive and humane philosophical grounding of teacher education that has been under attack since Reagan came to power. The new plan was incubated and hatched by the gang that brought you the era of nonstop test and punish, corporate welfare charter queens, anti-cultural shrunken curricula, teacher demonization and union busting, Reading First parrot teaching, DIBELS, corporate tutoring, the super-sized junk food textbook, and unending data surveillance systems. It has been marched out under the banner of what has been until now a highly-regarded teacher accreditation outfit known as NCATE.

First, a comment about the psychology of this Report, which bears the schizophrenic markings that only come

UCSC students protest proposed fee hikes - San Jose Mercury News

UCSC students protest proposed fee hikes - San Jose Mercury News

UCSC students protest proposed fee hikes

Updated: 11/16/2010 02:51:33 PM PST

SANTA CRUZ -- About 150 UC Santa Cruz students rallied today to protest a proposed 8 percent fee increase.

The noon rally coincided with the beginning of a meeting in San Francisco, where the UC regents are addressing UC President Mark Yudof's proposals for post-employment benefits reform and student fee increases. Graduate students and other staff were on hand in support.

"I think the people who aren't protesting have a myopic view. This will increase their debt and it will effect their children's education in the future," said Nina Mautner, a UCSC junior. "Public education has been degraded for years now. We're not getting what we're paying for." The rally started with about 100 people in the Porter College Quad. The march wound through the campus and grew to about 200 students at its height. The students occupied

Education’s Duncan Working With Boehner on ‘No Child’ - BusinessWeek

Education’s Duncan Working With Boehner on ‘No Child’ - BusinessWeek

Education’s Duncan Working With Boehner on ‘No Child’

November 16, 2010, 5:35 PM EST

By John Lauerman

(Updates with comments from Duncan about teachers’ salaries in the seventh and eighth paragraphs.)

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he is working with Representative John Boehner, leader of the House Republicans, on changes to the “No Child Left Behind” law for schools that was passed during former President George W. Bush’s administration.

Duncan has talked with Boehner on education issues including altering the law, which affects kindergarten through 12th-grade schools, the education secretary said today in Washington at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. Boehner, from Ohio, is expected to become speaker of the House after Republicans take control in January.

The 2002 act, which requires states to measure student achievement with standardized tests, contains perverse incentives and fails to reward states and school systems for successes, Duncan said. The secretary said he is working to change the law with House Republicans including

Teachers take charge — Joanne Jacobs

Teachers take charge — Joanne Jacobs

Teachers take charge

Across the country, teachers are taking charge of school turnarounds, reports Associated Press. Some charter schools have been run by teachers for years now; what’s new is that districts are letting teacher committees take over schools, usually schools in trouble.

Four years ago, Francis Parkman Middle School was spiraling downward with plummeting enrollment, abysmal test scores and notoriety for unruliness. Then teachers stepped out of the classroom and took charge of the school.

Today, the rechristened Woodland Hills Academy, named for the school’s suburban location north of Los Angeles, is run by a teacher-controlled committee where the principal carries the same weight as a teacher and the district has minimal say in operations.

Test scores are up 18 percent and enrollment has spiked more than 30 percent. The model works,

When is Parent Day? – Lily's Blackboard

When is Parent Day? – Lily's Blackboard

When is Parent Day?

It’s Parent Day today.

Ok. Parent Day was Tuesday of American Education Week and I fell behind my schedule for getting this up, but still. It’s Parent Day.

I remember when I first started teaching sometime in the late 1800s when one of the moms of one of my 4th graders came to the class to apologize. She had always been The Room Mother for her kids, but this year she was working outside the home, and she was apologizing for not being able to be involved.

I said, “You’re going to be involved, because you’re a good mom. You don’t have to be a school volunteer to be involved. I’m a working mom, too, and I’m involved with my kids’ education because I make sure they do their

Thanks by teacherken Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Daily Kos: State of the Nation


Share4 2

Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 03:18:19 AM PST

This is American Education Week. It is a time to focus on those who play important roles in education. Were one to go to this page at the NEA website, one would see that there are many who play roles, including support personnel and substitutes, parents as well as teachers. This week we honor all.

For me, especially after a weekend in which I was able to refocus myself on what is important for me, I find that I am in a very thankful mood, albeit 9 days before our officially celebration of thanks-giving..

This morning I wish to offer thanks to many who have made my journey as a teacher possible. Some are those who are included in the recognitions of this week.

Some are people I have never met, but their words have inspired me.

Some are people known here.

I am honored to share my thanks with those who choose to read my words.

Those I mention serve as representatives for the many hundreds I could and probably should mention.

Now let me begin my thanks.

Thanks to those of my teachers who taught me about caring for every student, no matter how difficult. To Jimmy Block, the piano teacher who bore with me and praised my playing of Bach. To Thomas Rock who challenged me to live up to my potential, then entrusted me with teaching his students when he was away. To John Davison who lived a life of loving every student who entered his classroom at

Who’s Pulling the Trigger?

Who’s Pulling the Trigger?

Who’s Pulling the Trigger?

This weekend, David Feith, an editor at the WSJ, advertised on his newspaper’s opinion page “a radical school reform” that most people outside of California and a handful of other states, like Connecticut, don’t know much about. He was describing a California law known colloquially as “parent trigger” that passed through the state legislature late in 2009 and was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on January 7 of this year.

One of the key groups that strongly pushed for the parent trigger law was an L.A.-based advocacy group calledParent Revolution. The L.A. Times described the organization in December 2009 as “a parent organizing and lobbying group closely affiliated with Green Dot Public Schools, which operates charter schools.” Feith defined it as “a liberal activist group,” so there must be some confusion about what the organization is exactly.

After being signed into law, parent trigger became effective on April 14. Under the law, if 50% of the parents of students at a school sign an official petition calling for the school to be remade, their local district is required to make one of four school transformations. The school cannot be labeled a “persistently lowest-achieving school,” but it must have failed to meet adequate yearly progress under NCLB for at least four years. What’s most unusual about parent trigger is that the majority of parents who sign the petition calling for major school changes also get to choose how the school will be reformed, unless the local district makes a serious case that their recommendations are impossible to implement.

In his opinion piece, Feith suggests that parent trigger will demonstrate that parents actually do want to be

In backing Black, Gloria Steinem lands on a political fault line | GothamSchools

In backing Black, Gloria Steinem lands on a political fault line | GothamSchools

In backing Black, Gloria Steinem lands on a political fault line

Feminist movement icon Gloria Steinem has weighed in on Hearst Magazines executive Cathie Black’s appointment as the new schools chancellor, backing up her former colleague from Ms. Magazine.

But if the bulk of the criticism being directed at Black centers on her scant background in education, Steinem’s statement of support might not do any good. After describing Black’s accomplishments and suggesting that critics are holding Black to a higher standard than they did Joel Klein, Steinem bungles the name of the school advisory board Black sits on.

“Now, her abilities as a publisher are being held to a different standard than Joel Klein as a prosecutor, even though she is on the board of a Harlem magnet school,” Steinem writes.

Black does sit on the national leadership advisory board for a group of schools in Harlem, but they aren’t magnet schools. Harlem Village Academies schools are charter schools, meaning they are privately run, but publicly funded.

Steinem’s error is a minor one, except that it rests on a political fault line. Critics of charter schools frequently

Schools Matter: Detention First at Segregated Charter School Chain Gangs

Schools Matter: Detention First at Segregated Charter School Chain Gangs

Detention First at Segregated Charter School Chain Gangs

On any given day, 20 percent of children at Achievement First's apartheid reform schools are doing time for the slightest infraction. It's part of the penal pedagogy system perfected by KIPP and Martin Seligman's team of psychologists trained in the dark science of learned helplessness and learned optimism. These are the corporate reform schools whose freedom to innovate and steal public money has become the license to imprison school children in segregated testing camps.

It's all about total compliance and psychological sterilization, which is the chosen corporate solution to all the problems attendant to poverty, which is on no hedge funder's to-fix list or Hollywood propagandist's expose-list.

When will the NAACP and the Urban League shut down these corporate welfare madrassahs that no parent in the leafy suburbs would allow for their children to be exposed to?

From the Daily News:
She has served detention for slouching, humming and failing to look her teachers in the eye.

Fee Hike Protests Around the U of California Today Student Activism

Student Activism

As noted earlier, the University of California board of regents will be meeting at UC San Francisco Mission Bay beginning tomorrow to consider yet another massive fee increase. Protests against the move are taking place at several UC campuses today.


Activists blocked access to California Hall, Berkeley’s administration building, early this morning. As of nine am California time one entrance was reportedly re-opened.


Students, faculty, and staff staged a

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Predictable

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Predictable


I need to get one of these red power ties.
Now sooner had I finished posting about Daley's likely interim pickand gone off to teach my class, than one of my students informed me that the Mayor appointed Terry Mazany as his new schools CEO. Shows you how plugged in I am.

No surprises here. Daley played it safe. Mazany will likely keep the seat warm until May, 2011 when a new mayor will pick what amounts to the district's third CEO in 6 months. He's currently president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, the city's second largest foundation and one of the district's biggest outside funders. The Trust served as the conduit for the Gates Foundation grant the supported the Chicago High School Redesign Initiative (CHSRI).

Mazany says he has no plans to become the permanent CEO. He told FOX that he will work on a briefing book for the next mayor and next chief of CPS so they can begin to work

The Answer Sheet - Some advice for Cathie Black on NYC schools job

The Answer Sheet - Some advice for Cathie Black on NYC schools job

Some advice for Cathie Black on NYC schools job

By Valerie Strauss

It is a little hard to understand why Cathleen Black would want to be New York public schools chancellor. A week after she was tapped by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to succeed Joel Klein, who resigned after eight years as chancellor, Black has come under withering attack from parents, teachers and elected officials because of her lack of credentials for the job.

They were summed up in a letter that Patrick J. Sullivan, a city Board of Education member, wrote to state Education Commissioner David Steiner. The letter notes serious public concern about the selection of Black, former USA Today publisher and head of Hearst Magazines :

1. She has no educational qualifications, lacking both teaching and administrative experience. She has no academic credentials in the field

Spot.us - Story: The Investors’ Club: How the University of California Regents Spin Public Money into Private Profit

Spot.us - Story: The Investors’ Club: How the University of California Regents Spin Public Money into Private Profit

The Investors’ Club: How the University of California Regents Spin Public Money into Private Profit

“As universities become glorified vocational schools for corporations they adopt values and operating techniques of the corporations they serve.” – Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion, 2009)

This piece has been republished by The Berkeley Daily Planet. A version of it also ran in the Sacramento News & Review, North Bay Bohemian, and the SF Public Press. Analysis fromCalifornia Watch.

  • Part One: The Investor's Club - Published below.

Introduction and overview of the 8-part investigation. The eight parts of this investigation and two appendixes are linked within the introduction. They may be read sequentially or as stand alone stories.

How to tell the difference between a conflict of interest and a coincidence.

This Week In Education: Video: Is Ravitch Being Blacklisted?

This Week In Education: Video: Is Ravitch Being Blacklisted?

Video: Is Ravitch Being Blacklisted?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Diane Ravitch
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

On Sunday NYT bestseller Diane Ravitch tweeted "I have been repeatedly rejected by the Daily Show, Colbert, Maddow, etc. Katie Couric interviewed me for 30 minutes; never ran. Why?" But here she is on The Daily Show.... in 2003.

UC Students Rally Against Tuition Increases | Education | Change.org

UC Students Rally Against Tuition Increases | Education | Change.org

UC Students Rally Against Tuition Increases

Rallying against proposed increases to tuition and fees, University of California student activists are planning massive on-campus protests this week. Today, students on campuses all over the state are staging demonstrations. Tomorrow, many will take buses to San Francisco to demonstrate at the UC Board of Regents meeting. UCLA student Nader Nasr has created a petition on Change.orgthat has close to 900 signatures.

What's behind this campaign? A request from the University of California to the Board of Regents to increase tuition for students another eight percent (fees increased 32 percent last year) to more than $11,000. Similar tuition increases for students in the Cal State education system are also in the works. Tuition (also called "fees") doesn't cover the other costs of room, board and books that families pay for higher education (UC Berkeley has the second-highest cost for room and board of any institutions, public or private, the Los Angeles Times editorial board has reported).

Although the increases would also come with increases in financial aid packages, students who don't qualify for financial aid, yet still can't afford the high price of college, will fall deeper into debt.

In a UCLA student video, undergraduate students talk about the increased financial hardships they face because they attend college. "This year, I have to work around 20 hours a week..." says one student. "It's been really difficult to balance everything." Another student says he's from a middle-class student family